CHICAGO -- Probably the most important part of Anthony Rizzo’s whirlwind arrival to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday was the good night’s sleep he got when the day was done.
Rizzo said he didn’t see much of his debut on SportsCenter, or any other highlight show for that matter, because he went straight to bed after playing in his first Cubs game while getting two hits, including the go-ahead RBI on a double.
“It was a long, long day so I got to bed a little early,” Rizzo said.
Wednesday began the opportunity for some normalcy. His pregame interview lasted just two minutes instead of 15 and it was with a handful of reporters around his locker, not in the interview room packed with tape recorders and television cameras.
He said that Wrigley Field offers everything he needs to continue with his normal pregame routine so he put it into motion Wednesday.
“It’s just about getting comfortable now,” he said. “It’s just about going day by day and working my tail off.”
As he did after Tuesday’s game, Rizzo again expressed how key it was that he got a hit in his final at-bat and an RBI before the day was done.
“Every year, you want to get off to a good start wherever you are,” he said. “It’s about staying with what makes me comfortable and when the game starts everything just takes over.”
And for now it’s about keeping things simple. His family will remain in town until the end of the homestand so early bedtimes figure to be the norm. And if the 22-year-old eventually decides he would like to get to know Chicago a little better at night, the Cubs are all for letting him be his own person.
“These guys are all grown men,” manager Dale Sveum said. “If you ever come across a problem or find a problem (you talk about it), but you don’t sit there and talk about anything like that. These guys are grown men and you don’t want to come in and treat them like they’re 15-year-old kids.
“If there are problems or you see anything you talk to them about the city of Chicago and the day games and those type of things. But you don’t single out anybody. They’ll think you’re saying they’re going out or they aren’t taking care of themselves. If there is a problem sure, you try to take care of it.”
So far, though, the Cubs are extremely happy with what they see. The hard part is out of the way now and it’s time for Rizzo to start settling into being a big-league ballplayer.
“It's part of the gig when you're in a big market and you're highly touted like that,” Sveum said. “You're going to have that first day and that's just the way it is. Obviously he handed it very well. He got the game-winning hit, played nice defense and had nice at-bats. Hopefully he settles in and plays for 15, 20 years.”